stencil of birds in branches on a mud room wall
Steps // How to Stencil on Whimsical Trees
1 ×

Tape Off a Midline and Roll On

 
Step One // How to Stencil on Whimsical Trees

Tape Off a Midline and Roll On

Mark Powers tapes off the stencil mid-line and applies a solid green base color
Photo by Andrew McCaul

The second color  Use a paint tray and a roller cover with a 3⁄8-inch nap to put down the second base color. Peel up the tape before the paint dries.

 
2 ×

Map Out a Design

 
Step Two // How to Stencil on Whimsical Trees

Map Out a Design

Mark Powers positions the stencil on the unpainted portion of the wall
Photo by Andrew McCaul

After playing with the stencil’s position and the number of repeats, use tape to edit out some of the birds and branches. A clip-on level ($13; Cutting Edge Stencils) can help keep your treetops in a straight line.

 
3 ×

Stencil On Paint

 
Step Three // How to Stencil on Whimsical Trees

Stencil On Paint

Mark Powers rolls green paint onto the stencil
Photo by Andrew McCaul

Spray reposition-able adhesive on the back of the stencil and press in place. To reduce bleeding, run a dense foam roller through just 2 tablespoons of paint, then over a folded paper towel before applying the paint with light to medium pressure.

 
4 ×

Go Back in for the Birds

 
Step Four // How to Stencil on Whimsical Trees

Go Back in for the Birds

adding birds to a birds and branches stencil design
Photo by Andrew McCaul

Put dollops of paint (we used leftovers from other projects) on a foam plate and dab them with stiff stencil brushes—one per color. To reduce bleeding, make a few circles before rubbing off more paint on a folded paper towel. Pounce on the paint.

 
5 ×

Remove the Stencil and Touch up Any Bleeding

 
Step Five // How to Stencil on Whimsical Trees

Remove the Stencil and Touch up Any Bleeding

touching up the birds in a birds in branches stencil design
Photo by Andrew McCaul

Carefully peel up the stencil as soon as you’re finished painting. Sharpen the limbs’ outlines and repair any blips with a fine artist’s brush.

 
6 ×

Add Hooks

 
Step Six // How to Stencil on Whimsical Trees

Add Hooks

Mark Powers adds hooks to the stencil for hanging coats and hats
Photo by Andrew McCaul

When the accent colors are completely dry, install hooks at different levels, using the correct anchors for drywall or plaster. Now toss a hat or two in the branches and enjoy the scene.

 
 

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